Your job plays a huge part in your life even when you are not working. Many people carry home the stress that they experience at work and this can be harmful to their home environment. Work stress can also show up in your life in other ways and end up ruining your everyday life resulting in alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Currently, stress is one of the biggest causes of alcohol use.
Alcohol abuse can potentially affect one’s work performance and cause absenteeism and possible accidents or injuries at work. It can be helpful to determine which occupations have the highest risk for job-related stress so you can identify whether you are at risk of becoming an alcoholic.
There are certain factors in each occupation that can influence alcohol abuse or alcoholism such as:
– Long hours
– Irregular shift work
– Social networking
– Access to addictive substances.
Military culture is frequently associated with alcohol as it has been connected to a certain image of power and masculinity. You will find most service members being compelled to consume as much alcohol as their superiors and colleagues. Soldiers in the military also typically use drinking as a coping mechanism for stress. Military personnel have been known to use alcohol as an emotional crutch, especially if they have been assigned to conflict zones far from their homes for extended periods. Alcohol over-consumption in the military results in increased domestic violence, unhealthy drinking habits, deteriorated mental and physical health.
Law Enforcement Officers
This occupation has been associated with long work hours, emergencies, and high-stress situations which can have negative effects on an individual’s recreational and personal time. Police officers frequently handle emergencies and put their lives on the line often. This leads them to turn to addictive substances like drugs and alcohol to unwind and cope. Law enforcement usually has many alcoholics compared to the general public.
Building and Construction Industry
Building and construction workers who drink frequently may increase safety and health risks for others and themselves. Construction has been listed as the second most dangerous occupation in the United Kingdom. Workers in the construction industry typically work with specific measurements and heavy machinery so they need to be fully focused at work. Alcohol can affect an individual’s concentration and possibly result in serious harm to others or oneself.
Professionals who work in the legal industry have very high occurrences of alcohol abuse compared to other occupations. The problem mostly starts in law school for most of them due to increased stress, competition, extended study hours, heavy workloads, and alcohol-related togetherness. The stress of law school can result in anxiety and depression and when they get into the workforce it amplifies these problems. Legal practitioners who do not know how to handle everyday stresses in the workplace will turn to alcohol.
Hospitality and food industry workers have a higher likelihood of increased alcohol abuse. They deal with excessive physical exhaustion along with the stress of meeting client requirements daily, which can heavily impact their well-being. Alcohol is readily available in the hospitality business, so many people will take a drink to unwind after work. However, when this happens regularly and you serve people alcohol throughout the day, the risk for alcohol abuse becomes higher. Bartenders experience this problem the most. Hospitality industry workers usually take a couple of drinks during their shifts to deal with their mood, work shifts, physical strain, and long hours.
Arts and Entertainment Industry
Substance abuse has been associated with the creative industry for a while now. The entertainment industry is among the most stressful occupations in the world. This is why the lifestyles of artists and celebrities involve a lot of dangerous behavior, substance abuse, and excessive alcohol consumption. People in these occupations undergo a lot of criticism and scrutiny from the world and it is not easy for everyone to deal with effectively. This is why most of them become alcoholics or turn to drugs to cope.
Health Workers and Doctors
People working in this industry have the most demanding jobs in the world, which is why the profession has one of the highest alcoholism rates. Up to 14% of health workers are estimated to abuse alcohol and drugs. These individuals hold other people’s lives in their hands daily and this can be mentally and emotionally draining for them. There are other causes of substance abuse among healthcare workers and doctors, but the disturbing conditions they deal with daily contribute mainly to the problem. People working in this industry also handle a lot of cases involving substance abuse and it is very easy for them to access pain medications increasing the potential risk for abuse.
People will always look for different ways to cope with life and work stress. This is especially true for individuals working in occupations that are highly stressful and demanding such as the ones mentioned above. That explains why these occupations have such high alcoholism rates. Most people use drugs and alcohol to handle emotional and stressful challenges at work and in life. In the process, they can become dependent and eventually addicted to the substances they are using to cope.
Drug abuse is usually stigmatized but because alcohol consumption is legal many people do not see it as a problem. Learning more about alcoholism and how to identify it will reduce its occurrence in these occupations. Eliminating the social stigma of alcohol abuse and addiction will play a significant role in reducing alcoholism and alcohol abuse in all professions and industries.